Over the past six months, the Danish Medicines Agency has withheld an increasing number of different products in customs.
Many of them appear to be common food products or food supplements, but in fact they contain medicine, and this is not written on the package. For example, it can be sachets with powder that can be added to juice or milkshakes – or coffee with medicine in it.
This makes it difficult for Danish consumers to relate to the health hazard of buying such products, and it is difficult to figure out that it is actually illegal import of medicine from countries outside the EU or EEA (you may only import medicine from EU countries if it is purchased legally).
Medicine does not only come in the form of pills
Typically, the packaging and the websites that sell these products promise that the products can, for instance, help the user lose weight without any side effects and that they only contain healthy and natural ingredients.
Unfortunately, the manufacturers of these products fail to write that they actually contain active ingredients found in medicine.
If you want to buy such products on the internet you should be cautious. Medicine comes in many forms and not only as pills in packs resembling other medicine.
The Danish Medicines Agency continuously analyses these products in its laboratory and often finds medicine in them, although it is not written on the pack. Also, we regularly issue concrete warnings against such products on dkma.dk.
Examples of medicine sold as food products
Weight loss powder contains illegal substance
An example of this trend is the weight-loss product sibutramine, which was withdrawn from the legal market because of serious side effects, but which is now increasingly sold on the illegal market.
We find an increasing number of products with sibutramine where you would not normally expect to find it, including in different types of weight-loss powder that can be added to juices and milkshakes (see the pictures below).
It may be tempting to use natural ingredients if it helps you lose weight, but you should be aware that you could risk your health if you unknowingly use, for instance, sibutramine. Moreover, it is illegal to import.
Potency-enhancing product in coffee
Another example is MaxMan, which is satchets of coffee, which have proved to contain sildenafil – the active ingredient in the potency-enhancing product Viagra®. But you should note that this substance is on prescription in Denmark and that it is illegal to import.
Also, you put your health at risk by using it, as it is impossible to know anything about the quality and quantity of the active ingredient in MaxMan.
Example of orange juice with illegal medicine in it (sibutramine):
Example of milkshake with illegal medicine in it (sibutramine):
Example of coffee with illegal potency-enhancing medicine in it (sildenafil):
List of products with medicine in them
||Active substance found by analysis |
|Max Man Coffee
|Fashion Slimming Milk Shake
|Slimming Orange Juice - Leisure 18
|V12 Fruit Slimming
|Leisure 18 Slimming Coffee
|Weight Loss Coffee
- Sildenafil is a potency-enhancing product. It is the active substance in Viagra®, which can only be bought on prescription in Denmark.
- Sibutramine is a weight-loss product, which was withdrawn from the legal market in Denmark due to its side effects.